Ennistymon 0-12 Éire Óg 0-9
Ennistymon continued their move up the Clare football ladder when they defeated Éire Óg in the final of the Garry Cup (Division 2 league) at Cooraclare on Sunday evening.
Showing greater hunger for victory, they led from the 20th minute and any time the Ennis side threatened to close the gap in the second half, the winners went upfield and scored.
The North Clare side showed the greater scoring potential throughout and this is reflected in the fact that four of their forwards got on the scoresheet as against two for the Ennis men, whose forward line managed just one score from play during the hour.
Defences dominated in the opening quarter in particular when each side managed just one score. Éire Óg captain Stephen Hickey gave his side the lead when he converted a 13m free in the second minute and it was a further 12 minutes before Joey Rouine hit the leveller.
At the turn of the final quarter, Ciarán Russell came up from defence to put Éire Óg back into the lead but this was quickly cancelled out by Brian Conway when he converted a 30m free.
Team captain Joe Dowling gave the winners a lead they would hold to the end when he landed a 30m free in the 21st minute and this was followed by a like score from Conway as Ennistymon went on to lead, 0-5 to 0-3, at half-time.
When Éire Óg scored first in the second half, it looked like the town side were about to stage a fight back but points from David Murphy and Brian Conway saw the winners stretch their advantage to three with as many minutes played in the new half.
The margin was out to four by the three-quarter stage when David Ryan came up field to kick his second point for the Ennis men.
However, they were unable to break down the Ennistymon side, whose defence gave away little during the course of the game.
Éire Óg replaced both midfielders, Darren O’Neill and Brian Frawley, for the final 10 minutes but Ennistymon continued to hold the upperhand in the vital areas. Points were swapped twice in the final 10 minutes and when the final whistle sounded, the North Clare men were deservingly crowned champions, winning this title for the first time.
Laurence Healy and Michael Hohey were always prominent in the winners’ defence, while Ronan Linnane, David Murphy, Joe Dowling, Brian Conway and the hard-working Kevin Scales, who regularly dropped back to help out in defence, did well.
Dean and David Ryan and Conor Healy worked hard in the Éire Óg defence but from midfield up, they struggled to make an impression.
After the game, Moira Garry, wife of the late Michael, presented the Garry Cup to the winning captain Joe Dowling while Clare GAA chairman Michael O’Neill paid tribute to both teams and the match officials.
Ennistymon: Noel Sexton; Michael Hohey, Laurence Healy, Michael Devitt; Micheal O’Loughlin, Willie Murphy, Oisín Vaughan; Ronan Linnane, David Murphy; Brian Conway, Robert McDonagh, Joe Dowling; Joey Rouine, Kevin Scales, Sean McConigley.
Subs: Ciarán Devitt for McDonagh; Enda Ralph for D Murphy (inj).
Scorers: Brian Conway (0-5, 3f); Joe Dowling (0-4, 2f); David Murphy, Joey Rouine, Sean McConigley (0-1each).
Éire Óg: Eoin Slattery; Dean Ryan, Conor Healy, Nicky Hogan; David Ryan, Alan Malone, Ciarán Russell; Darren O’Neill, Brian Frawley; Shane Daniels, Stephen Hickey, Brian McMahon; Sean O’Meara, David Monaghan, Darren O’Meara.
Subs: Sean Crotty for O’Neill; David Russell for Frawley; Saran Butler for D O’Meara.
Scorers: Stephen Hickey (0-4, 3f); David Ryan (0-2, 1f); Shane Daniels (0-1), Ciarán Russell, David Russell (0-1 each).
Referee: John Hannon, Michael Cusack’s.